Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chuck is the accessory.

Today was a really cool day. To begin, I went out to run and it began to rain on me. So, I walked back into the house changed out of my running clothes, showered and looked out the window to find it...

not raining.

Nothing. No drops no extra water on the chairs in the garden.

So, I felt kinda stupid for not hanging out for a bit outside before giving up. Ah well - there's always Wednesday. Only, blech...at the gym.

But that meant that Aha and I got to spend the day together. We went out and did what we love to do; hang out at the mall.

Not like I did with a friend from my childhood (who by the way, continues to be my friend to this very day, but we hang out at the mall much much less and not for the same reasons) - where finding new boys was the chief objective of the mall (oddly enough, Converse High Tops played a role then too).

Aha and I like to window shop and hold hands. We're kinda pathetic. We're 30 years early for the old people shuffling through the mall, but we love it.

We had lunch at Ruby's - yummie - burgers (he with no bun and in a salad - me with a bun and fries.

Then we headed over to the mall next door (yep - that's LA for you malls next door to malls. Love it.) to wander.

We had some Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, wandered a bit and found ourselves heading for Nordstrom's. As it turns out, I forgot that I had a $75 gift card from a recent birthday (and by recent, I think I mean 2 years in July) and what a great time to get a gift for myself!

Note: I'm not particularly fond of clothes shopping. Particularly when I'm not employed on a full time basis (as I am now). It's not that I don't look good in clothes, I do (now), but I really cringe at the thought of spending $60 on a MINI skirt made of COTTON (albeit pretty) but still COTTON and thin cotton to boot. I am what I fondly refer to as a kamikaze shopper. I get in, I get what I need and I get out - no one gets hurt and I get what I need.

So here we are wandering about the mall and we find ourselves in Nordstrom's and more specifically, in the Junior's department.

Another note: I lost quite a bit of weight in the last 18 months and have kept it off. I am pretty happy about this (I did it well - very healthy) and getting to shop in the Jr. section (formally known as Brass Plum for those in the over 40 sect) still gives me a kick.

So, there we are...wandering about a section where things are sooooo teeny tiny...soooo gathered and so short! We merge into the shoe section and find the absolutely most fabulous shoes.

Yet another note. When I was 15, I got my first pair of Chuck Taylor's - Converse High Tops and they were RED! I loved them. I took them to Israel when I was 16. When I was 18 I wore my red Chucks to my first(ish) breakfast as a freshman in college. This was a very expensive private college and suffice it to say, I was at the poverty end of the cash-ola scale. So, everyone looked wonderful at breakfast, all made up, dressed well and coiffed to the hilt.

I showed up in jeans, a sweatshirt, probably a baseball hat and my red Chucks.

I made a friend that day in 1986. She and I are friends to this day. We attended each other's weddings - FB brought us back together - still close and I love her dearly. She knows me in a way no one else does. She was around for a lot of "firsts" and downsides. We've started to help each other with issues that arise as an adult ways now, but it's the same us with new issues. Love her. And best of all? I know she loves me too. Kewl.

Anyway...I'm a Chuck Taylor fan from way back. The problem is that Converse High Tops have zero redeeming value with the exception of how they look. So when I saw these Chucks - I about fell over.

They screamed, "try me on! come on, you know you want to!!" I looked at them and thought, "wow, those are cool". Having that gift card helped the process along because they cost far less than Aha and I thought they would. So I played the I'll-try-it-on-if.... game:

I'll try it on if:
* they have my size (always the first)
* I can come up with something to wear it with

You then move to the flow chart of shopping:

I'll try it on if they have my size ==> I'll walk around in them to see if they feel 0k (I'm a runner and shoe comfort is KEY) ==> Now I need something to wear with them.

Here is where it gets interesting.

I have the shoes on (which took an act of teamwork and a lot of loosening of laces (there are zippers along the back), patience and a shoe horn and now decide I am going to walk over to the Junior department (nee: Brass Plum) and see if I can find something to wear with them. I'm thinking long shorts and/or a denim shirt.

I walk over to the cash registers - wearing the shoes with my jeans folded up to my knees so see the shoes - and wait my turn. But what happens is that when a 40-something stands there wearing x-tra high top Converse is that a hush falls over the area. Young women in line with their moms turn and stare without staring and then look away and kibbutz with each other.

And don't tell me that's not true - my mom and I wrote the book on the "look and kibbutz!"

So I'm standing there, waiting patiently, and a lovely young woman, Tia, looks over and says with a ton of energy (as I would have), "I have been looking at getting those! Aren't they great?"
"Yep," I said, "I love Chucks, but I need help from you finding something to wear with them". "O.K." she says and we're off.

"I'm thinking skinny jeans..." she says.
"I was thinking of maybe shorts or a denim skirt." I say.
"O.K, I have a denim skirt right over here" she says.

So, we head over to denim skirt land. Now, I'm thinking a denim shirt comes to just above my knee or a little shorter. She had a definition that was decidedly different. She showed me a denim skirt that was 6" from the top of the skirt to the bottom.

"Oh, um, o.k." I said. How about some shorts?
We turn around and find "long" shorts:

"Um, o.k." I said and off to the dressing room I go.


Never even bothered with the skirt. I mean...please.

Tried the shorts - here's the issue - the issue was 4" of my skin between where the shorts stopped and the shoes began. I looked bizarre.

"Hmmm...what do you think?" I asked Tia.
"Um....hmmmm. I don't know" she said.
"Oh I know what you do here" her partner in crime said. "You wear really tall socks and it covers the space."
"Yeah, no. I'll look like I belong in a Dr. Seuess story" I said.
"How about skinny jeans?" Tia said. "I can really see skinny jeans with that."
"O.K." I said. and Tia bounces off to get my 'skinny jeans'.

For those of you 40+ you will recognize 'skinny jeans' as those jeans where one of three things has occurred:

1. Your Mom spent serious coin and bought you Guess? jeans that zipped at the bottom and made them 'skinny' around the bottom of your leg. (I sooooo wanted these. I prayed my cousin got them because I got her hand-me-downs. I didn't care what was in style when I got her stuff...life was going to be perfect.)
2. You folded the bottom of your jean over tight against your calf and used safety pins to secure them thus creating the 'skinny' look.
3. No safety pins, you pulled them 'skinny' and you folded them into themselves that way. (Least effective in my opinion - the fold could come out and that would annoy me all day.

Well, these skinny jeans are sure skinny - all over. I got into the jeans in a size in regular people that I wear. My legs lost their blood flow pretty quickly, but the waist was o.k. So, I tried on the next size up. Too big a waist, but legs better.

So, what was I able to do? I bought a pair of shoes that Aha says look good and I don't look stupid wearing them. I got a new pair of pants that came from THE JUNIOR SECTION! Best of all, I got to wear them to girl's night and show my friends.

Me and my skinny jeans - I guess Tia was right when she said nothing should compete with the shoes - the shoes are the accessory. I think that's advice for life. The Chuck Taylor's are the accessory.

Ladies & Gentlemen take my advice; pull down your pants and slide on the ice,

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